Getting Into Graduate School In Social Work:
Writing the Application Essay/Statement of Purpose (Part II)
- Plan to spend a lot of time writing this essay. It is not easy. It should not be sloppy. If it's poorly written, your chances of being admitted will be damaged. Make sure you write multiple drafts of this essay and have at least three other people who are more intelligent than you read it over. Ask your intelligent helpers to be perfectly and painfully honest with you so that you can write the very best essay possible.
- Of course, of course, of course, don't make any grammatical or spelling errors! Spell checker and grammar checkers that are provided in word processors are not perfect, so you must take the proofreading seriously.
- Most applications specifically tell you what they want you to write about. But if they don't, here are some topics that are good to cover:
- the experiences you have had that have fostered your interest in social work
- the experiences you have had that suggest that you will be a successful graduate student
- summarize your work and volunteer experience
- summarize your goals in the graduate program
- summarize your career goals after you graduate
- make it clear why their graduate program in particular will help you fulfill your career goals
- Oh, and did I mention to have lots of people who are smarter than you read over your essay and give you painfully honest feedback? It is exceedingly important that you do so. It is also important that you be willing to have your feelings hurt for the sake of writing the best essay you possibly can. Your first draft may sound cheesy and self-aggrandizing, and it is in your best interests to have someone honestly tell you that so that you can edit the essay accordingly.
- That's all the advice I've got for you. If you'd like to see some good essays written by people applying to psychology PhD programs, click here.
Click here to go back to the advice in Part I
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